Online Poker Etiquette: Does it Even Exist?

by admin on October 1, 2013

This is a guest post by “A Winning Poker Player”

Does online poker etiquette exist? Yes… well, it should. Poker is a game that lends itself to psyching out tactics and so it’s always been accepted that loud mouths like Danny Negreanu will verbally jab you during a hand. Banter is part of the game – rudeness is not.

online poker

There is an unwritten etiquette at the felt and a lot of that transfers to the screen. Simon Hemsworth has blogged about online behaviour in the past and we can all relate to some of the following points he brought up:

Slating the ‘Fish’

The word ‘fish’ has always been used to describe casual players in poker and you’ll often come across these people who like to play free poker games online as a leisure activity. They have every right to do so and Hemsworth argues that ridiculing these guys when they make a ‘fishy’ move does no good whatsoever.

Going AWOL

Sitting out for long durations is one of the most annoying things, when playing online poker for real money. A lot of players choose to sit out the early stages of a tournament and wait for some people to drop out. For a casual player, it can be very frustrating to be playing against a table of one or two opponents, when you should be playing against eight.

Eclipsing the Short Stack

In cash, buying back in for the exact stack-size of the casual player is poor form. It clearly indicates that you’re there to hunt them down and take their money. A predatory approach is fair but this particular action is just a little too targeted – it’s borderline bullying.

Silly Seat Swapping

Hemsworth notes how in live cash games, it is common for players to swap seats when the opportunity arises, to be closer to a friend on the table. Online, there is no need to do this other than to seek positional advantage when playing your poker hands.

It’s a legitimate move and is part of the game. However, it’s up to the PKR online poker regulars to keep this to a minimum. If one regular always seeks to swap seats when they can, to get a vantage point on the newbie, it could lead to other regulars also swapping seats to stifle the original swapper’s plan.

Hemsworth rightly notes how this could result in a ‘silly, musical chairs style situation’.

There is a pattern to all of Hemsworth’s points – he has got the best interests of new players in mind. It’s right, because for a game to develop and improve, it needs generation after generation of players to come through. Discouraging these from the beginning with unnecessary bad habits, will only stump the growth of online poker.

Which category do you fit into?

  • Oblivious fish
  • Noble regular
  • Ruthless regular

The point being, whatever category you fall into, the chances are you just love a good game of Poker, and you wouldn’t mind finishing the game with more cash than you started with, well if that’s the case why not try out your poker strategy at, they provide excellent games with lots of additional strategy tips to help you find that winning hand.

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